Slang City Mail

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February 3, 2005

Slang of the Week: shit happens (phrase)
Bad things happen because life is just like that.

“I’m sorry I accidentally left my watch in your intestines,” the surgeon apologized, “but shit happens.”

Celebrity quote:
“Have you ever seen the bumper sticker, ‘Shit happens’? Well, when shit happens, you speak.”
-Former White House press secretary Michael McCurry, explaining his spin strategy during the Clinton years

Most of our newsletters are about newer words, but a freak accident that happened less than forty miles from Slang City headquarters inspired me to revisit this classic slang expression. Last week in Leominster, Massachusetts, Nina Gambone ran outside when she heard what she thought was an explosion.

It was actually a beach ball sized piece of frozen human waste that had fallen from an airplane and smashed her car. Although the aircraft industry calls this kind of waste “blue ice,” Gambone’s 13-year-old son was less polite. “I'm not touching the poop ice," he said.

Not only did the unfortunate woman have to clean up the mess herself, but when she filed a claim, she found she was shit out of luck. The insurance company would not take responsibility for things that fell out of the sky and she now must try to figure out which airline was responsible for dropping the load.

What’s new at Slang City?
Badonkadunk, feen, pokey, and spliff—these are a few of the words highlighted in newsletters from August and September 2004, now available online in our All the Words Archive.